Altitude Digital - leaderboard - 6-9-15

Analysis for 'Sports'

  • Tennis Channel is Succeeding With Converged TV Everywhere-OTT Model

    With talk of cord-cutting everywhere these days, independent ad-supported cable TV network Tennis Channel is showing early signs of success with a compelling new model in which linear, TV Everywhere and OTT converge to super-serve audiences and reinforce the value of sports on pay-TV.

    At the 2014 French Open, Tennis Channel launched "Tennis Channel Plus" which runs $12/month or $80/year. Tennis Channel Plus now provides access to over 650 live events per year and over 1,000 hours of on-demand viewing. This means Tennis Channel adds broader coverage of tournaments it already broadcasts on linear, plus streaming of tournaments it hasn't previously covered.

    continue reading

     
  • thePlatform full banner - 2-6-15
  • 67% of Pay-TV Subscribers Don't Cite Sports As Justifying the Multichannel Bundle

    Here's some data that contradicts conventional wisdom: in a new survey from Clearleap, 67% of pay-TV subscribers said sports are not the reason they maintain a subscription, citing viewership of programs on other TV networks instead. Even sports fans didn't express a lot of enthusiasm for sports as justifying the multichannel bundle, with almost half citing other programs they watch as requiring a subscription.

    There has always been a strong industry consensus that live sports were the firewall for pay-TV's multichannel bundle. Even as entertainment programming has proliferated in OTT services and elsewhere, the only place to get marquee sports programming was on pay-TV. Therefore, the reasoning went, sports were the "glue" keeping subscribers on board.

    continue reading

     
  • Akamai - full banner - 6-2-15
  • VideoNuze Podcast #271: Revisiting Comcast-TWC Deal Failure; Verizon-ESPN Spat

    I'm pleased to present the 271st edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    We had recorded last week's podcast just prior to the news that Comcast was dropping its merger bid for Time Warner Cable, so first up this week we share thoughts on why the deal collapsed.

    In my view, the perception of the deal transformed from being cable-centric to being broadband-centric, largely due to the rise of online video usage. As a result, Comcast, post-merger, having 57% of American broadband connections under the new 25 mbps definition, became a sticking point (never mind that it actually has 56% on its own, reflecting its aggressive broadband infrastructure upgrades).

    This is a key irony of the deal's failure - Comcast has invested billions in technology, but its woeful customer service ultimately undermines these investments and defines its reputation. In a hypothetical world where Comcast was a "most admired company," (like Apple, Amazon, etc.), I think it's quite possible regulators would have actually welcomed the Time Warner deal.

    We then turn our attention to Verizon's "Custom TV" packaging and ESPN's lawsuit. As I explained in Has Verizon Put ESPN Into a Public Relations Headlock Over Opaque "Sports Tax?" I think Verizon is making a brazen move to reign in sports costs. Colin and I agree it's the most startling thing yet to happen in a tumultuous year for the pay-TV industry.

    Listen in to learn more!



    Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 6 seconds)

    Click here for previous podcasts

    Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
  • thePlatform full banner - 2-6-15
  • Has Verizon Put ESPN Into a Public Relations Headlock Over Opaque "Sports Tax?"

    We've seen a lot of surprising moves in the pay-TV industry in 2015, but at the top of the list has to be how Verizon is trying to put ESPN into a public relations headlock with its new "Custom TV" packaging plan.

    If you haven't been watching this closely, Verizon announced "Custom TV" last week. Under the plan, Verizon FiOS subscribers can take a base package of 45 channels, including the 4 broadcast TV networks, for $54.99 per month, and get 2 "channel packs" which are smaller groups of genre-based such as lifestyle, Entertainment, News & Info, Sports, etc. Additional channel packs are $10 per month.

    continue reading

     
  • thePlatform full banner - 2-6-15
  • NBC Sports Live Extra App Now on Roku and Apple TV, For Authenticated Viewers Only

    NBC Sports Live Extra app is now available on both Roku and Apple TV, with the caveat that only authenticated pay-TV viewers will be able to access the app's 3,000 annual live sports streams. The move bolsters TV Everywhere, the pay-TV industry's initiative to enable access to content when, where and how viewers want it.

    Last week, I shared new research showing that heavy TV Everywhere users rate pay-TV a much stronger value than lighter users. This is a core TV Everywhere goal - to get viewers watching more TV and feeling better about their expensive monthly subscriptions so they're not tempted to switch to cheaper OTT options. Live sports in particular have been a hugely successful genre in TV Everywhere, as measured by FreeWheel.

    continue reading

     
  • Akamai - full banner - 6-2-15
  • Dodgers Stalemate and Viacom's $785 Million Write-Down Epitomize OTT's Growing Impact

    Yesterday provided us with 2 excellent examples of how OTT is changing the video landscape and how the pay-TV ecosystem is struggling to adapt. The first example was the second straight LA Dodgers' opening day in which the majority of LA fans were not able to watch the game because SportsNet LA doesn't have deals with most of the area's pay-TV operators. The second example was the $785 million write-down announced by Viacom to cover the costs of an expected "strategic realignment."

    continue reading

     
  • Altitude Digital - full banner - 6-11-15
  • NFL Takes a Baby Step, Planning to Exclusively Stream a Single Game Next Season

    The NFL announced yesterday that it plans to exclusively stream a single game next season, a week 7 matchup from London between the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The October 25th game will still be televised in the 2 home markets, starting at 9:30am ET, but elsewhere it will only be available online (though the NFL hasn't yet signed a digital distribution partner).

    Brian Rolapp, the NFL's EVP, Media, characterized the move as mainly an experiment, meant to impart as much learning as possible (he also maintained that TV is still the best distribution option). That sounds right to me, though how much can really be learned from streaming a single game is a bit unclear (e.g. advertiser interest? technical or delivery quality? audience size?).

    continue reading

     
  • Altitude Digital - full banner - 6-11-15
  • Why HBO Now is the Biggest Threat Yet to Pay-TV's Multi-Billion Dollar Sports Tax on Non-Fans

    In last Friday's podcast, Colin and I covered a lot of ground in assessing HBO Now's opportunities and risks. One of the points I raised, which I believe deserves much more attention in understanding HBO Now's disruptive potential, is how it threatens pay-TV's multi-billion dollar "sports tax" on non-fans.

    I've been writing about the sports tax - how non-fans effectively subsidize the cost of super-expensive sports networks such as ESPN and regional sports networks (RSNs) that they don't watch - for almost 5 years now. In a back-of-the-envelope analysis I did following a panel I sat on with Mark Cuban back in 2011, I estimated the annual tax on non sports fans amounted to at least $2 billion per year (4 years later, it's now much higher).

    continue reading

     
  • thePlatform full banner - 2-6-15
  • Perspective What's this? Live Sports Viewing Creates Entry Point for TV Everywhere Adoption

    2014 was the year during which the "Big Game" became the "Really Big Game." From the Super Bowl and Sochi Olympics kicking off the year, to the college football Bowl Season closing it out. One could hardly turn around in 2014 without hearing of another programmer boasting cutting-edge streaming coverage of tent-pole sporting events or unprecedented depth of exposure for previously hard-to-find games.

    Live sports serve a dual function for programmers trying to expand their digital footprint. In addition to bringing significant numbers of viewers to ultra-premium, high-CPM ad inventory, live sports have also been deployed as an entry point - hooking new adopters and indoctrinating digital viewing habits.

    continue reading

  • Akamai - full banner - 6-2-15
  • VideoNuze Podcast #258 - Super Bowl Streaming

    I'm pleased to present the 258th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Super Bowl Sunday is upon us. In today's podcast Colin and I first explore the huge role online video has had in driving up the value of Super Bowl ads, which NBC now approximates at $10 million per spot. But despite the ads' tens of millions of incremental online views, we're both still somewhat mystified why the ads don't place more value on viewer engagement, a topic I explored yesterday.

    We then turn our attention to NBC's plan to stream 11 hours of programming on Sunday (including the game) without any TV Everywhere style authentication.

    As Colin explains, "Super Stream Sunday" is correctly focused on educating viewers about TV Everywhere. But Colin notes one big drawback, which is that the game won't be available on smartphones, since Verizon has the exclusive mobile streaming rights. That means smartphone-wielding millennials could be disappointed.

    Listen in to learn more!



    Click here to listen to the podcast (19 minutes, 52 seconds)

    Click here for previous podcasts

    Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
  • Akamai - full banner - 6-2-15
  • Now Valued At $10 Million Apiece, Super Bowl Ads Still Mostly Lack Engagement

    Yesterday, NBCU's EVP of Sales and Sales Marketing Seth Winter announced that all of this Sunday's Super Bowl on-air and online ad units are now sold out. At $4.4-$4.5 million for on-air spots, these are the most expensive Super Bowl ads ever. Winter also reiterated something he said a few weeks ago: he believes a 30-second Super Bowl ad really provides a $10 million value "because of all the incremental exposure that the creative receives on all the different social media platforms like YouTube or publicity."

    The comment resonated with me, because way back in 2007, in "On the Road to the $10 Million Super Bowl Ad," I suggested that eventually Super Bowl would in fact reach this level (note that NBC isn't selling the ads for $10 million - yet. It's only saying that's their value).

    continue reading

     
  • Akamai - full banner - 6-2-15
  • VideoSchmooze [VIDEO] - Sports' Pivotal Role in Driving TV Everywhere's Adoption

    This has been a significant year for TV Everywhere growth and no question, live sports has been the biggest driver. At the recent VideoSchmooze, one of our sessions explored how sports is playing a pivotal role in introducing TV Everywhere to millions of viewers and in turn, is creating a path to using TVE for entertainment programming as well.

    The session featured Brian Dutt (FreeWheel), Vito Forlenza (Comcast), Dina Juliano (NBCU) and Clark Pierce (FOX Sports), with Colin Dixon (nScreenMedia) moderating.

    The full session video is included below.

    Watch the video

     
  • thePlatform full banner - 2-6-15
  • Survey: 37% of Consumers Plan to Watch Super Bowl on Connected Devices

    YuMe has released results of a 500-person online survey about Super Bowl XLIX viewing intentions, finding surprisingly strong interest in watching the game via streaming. 37% of those surveyed said they plan to watch via a connected TV device, with 87% watching on TV, thereby implying lots of dual screen watching is in store.

    41% of respondents said it was important to watch the game on multiple devices, with 75% agreeing there's less chance of missing out when using multiple devices.

    continue reading

     
  • Altitude Digital - full banner - 6-11-15
  • Clearleap Announces Multiscreen Sports Solution

    Clearleap has announced a cloud-based multiscreen sports solution to support live-streamed games, near real-time highlights/clips and personalized playlists. Clearleap's Sports and Live TV Solution targets sports-oriented TV networks which recognize that today's fans demand always-on access across their multiple devices.

    The new Clearleap solution enables networks to ingest, process and deliver live and on-demand sports streams, supported by a network operations center aiming to provide 99.999% uptime. Obviously when it comes to live sports any hiccup in a live-stream that could risk missing the big play would be catastrophic. Clearleap provides a dashboard to manage and monitor real-time analytics of video delivery.

    continue reading

     
  • thePlatform full banner - 2-6-15
  • VideoNuze Podcast #250 - Sports are Driving TV Everywhere Adoption; Yahoo Acquires BrightRoll

    I'm pleased to present the 250th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    (Programming note - While we were quite tempted to add our voices to this week's raging net neutrality debate, we decided to pass, on the assumption that listeners are likely fatigued. But if you'd like us to do an episode on net neutrality, please let us know.)

    Instead, we start this week with FreeWheel's newly-released Q3 '14 Video Monetization Report (VMR), and specifically how sports are playing a big role driving TV Everywhere's adoption. As Colin wrote, a whopping  82% of live online video ad views are now tied to sports content. Live video ads themselves grew by 214% year-over-year and now account for 21% of all video ad views for programmers.

    This is critical because it's increasingly clear that sports are going to play a pivotal role in broader TVE adoption. Colin will be moderating a session at VideoSchmooze on Dec. 4th that will dive deep into the subject with FreeWheel's Brian Dutt, who oversees the VMR, along with executives from Comcast, NBCU and Fox Sports. The session is a key part of our jam-packed VideoSchmooze program.

    We then discuss Yahoo's acquisition of video ad platform BrightRoll for $640 million cash. As I wrote earlier this week, the deal is the latest in a string of video ad tech acquisitions, fueled by the market's growing acknowledgement of online/mobile video advertising's growing importance. We also dig into what the deal means for Yahoo.  

    Listen in to learn more!


    Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 41 seconds)

    Click here for previous podcasts

    Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
  • Altitude Digital - full banner - 6-11-15
  • Dish's Chairman Tamps Down Expectations for Upcoming OTT Service Amid Conflicting Goals

    Dish Network has been very public about its interest in launching an over-the-top pay-TV service (a virtual pay-TV operator or "vPop") this year. But on Dish's Q3 '14 earnings call yesterday, company chairman Charlie Ergen provided an update on its progress, tamping down short-term expectations for the vPop service and its likely market impact. More importantly, as I explain below, Ergen's comments highlight some of the vPop's conflicting goals and significant challenges.

    Following are Ergen's initial comments on the call about the vPop service (from the transcript at Seeking Alpha), in which he speaks candidly about the complexity and uncertainty involved with the launch:

    continue reading

     
  • Altitude Digital - full banner - 6-11-15
  • New "Sporting Views" Research Service Details Online Sports Viewership Patterns

    Sporting News Media, which operates a large sports online video syndication network, has launched a new research service called "Sporting Views," which will provide insights about how online viewers engage with sports-related video.

    The data is based on Sporting News Media's SN ePlayer network which syndicates video highlights from major leagues and rights-holders to over 350 publishers' sites, generating over 20 million unique visitors/mo and 300 million streams/mo. The SN ePlayer network has been comScore's top-ranked online video sports property for 9 of the last 12 months.

    In the inaugural report, Sporting Views found that viewing of sports content on local publishers sites is quite diffused, actually drawing big out-of-market audiences. In ten of the largest U.S. markets, 62.1% of viewers who watch sports video on local publishers' sites were from outside that market. Dallas (72.7%), LA (71.3%), New York (70.9%) and Miami (70.3%) led in terms of percentage of viewers from outside their markets.

    continue reading

     
  • Altitude Digital - full banner - 6-11-15
  • Big Ten Network Broadens OTT Sports Packaging With NeuLion Assist

    Big Ten Network (BTN) is the latest example of how sports fans are benefiting from online video's rise - gaining more convenient access, more content choices and additional packaging options.

    BTN rolled out BTN2Go, its TV Everywhere service, four years ago, which is currently available to over 90% of its 60 million+ subscribers. Now, it is using BTN2Go as its platform brand and has introduced BTN Plus, a "hybrid TV Everywhere" service, which includes non-televised games and events from Big Ten schools and is available exclusively online and on connected devices. BTN Plus takes the place of previously fragmented efforts by individual schools under the CBSSports.com brand.

    continue reading

     
  • thePlatform full banner - 2-6-15
  • OTT Never Had a Real Chance of Getting NFL Sunday Ticket Deal

    Late yesterday, the NFL announced it renewed its "Sunday Ticket" deal with DirecTV for a reported 8 years at $1.5 billion per year, a 50% increase over their prior deal. Going back about a year, there were rampant rumors that the Sunday Ticket package could go to an OTT player, with Google being the name most often mentioned.

    In reality, though, there was virtually no chance Sunday Ticket was going to go to OTT, and so the DirecTV renewal comes as no surprise. As I wrote over a year ago, there were at least 5 big challenges to a Google-NFL deal in particular. These essentially boil down to a combination of online video not being mature enough yet to exclusively handle marquee sports broadcasts and the incumbent TV ecosystem desperately needing to retain marquee sports broadcasts like Sunday Ticket.

    continue reading

     
  • Akamai - full banner - 6-2-15
  • VideoNuze Podcast #240 - NFL Now Looks Brilliant; Ericsson Data Highlights OTT's Edge

    After a 2 week hiatus while I was traveling in France, nScreenMedia's Colin Dixon and I are back with the 240th edition of our weekly podcast.

    The NFL season is now officially underway and with the launch of the NFL Now app, the league is promising to deliver an unprecedented fan experience. Though it's still quite early, Colin and I discuss why NFL Now looks like a very smart move. We're especially impressed with how the NFL is threading the needle between preserving the value in its multi-billion dollar broadcast/cable TV deals while aggressively pursuing online/mobile opportunities. However, for watching live games online, we also note how convoluted the TV Everywhere experience will be this season.

    Before we get to the NFL, Colin shares insights on a new report from Ericsson Consumer Lab, which found that OTT providers are surpassing pay-TV providers in customer satisfaction. Colin compares the data for four criteria - price, quality, mobility and content. I think the report is directionally correct, but question how valid it is to compare OTT services that cost around $8/month with pay-TV that can cost 10x this amount. It's worth noting another key takeaway from the report, which is that almost as many people now watch streaming video per week (75%), as watch scheduled broadcast TV (77%).

    Listen in to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (18 minutes, 23 seconds)


    Click here for previous podcasts

    Click here to add the podcast feed to your RSS reader.

    The VideoNuze podcast is also available in iTunes...subscribe today!

     
  • Akamai - full banner - 6-2-15
« Previous | Next »

Sample